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Dr. Carlin received an undergraduate degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He then entered the PhD program in economics at MIT, with two summers spent at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA. His MIT major was in economic development; his thesis research was carried out in India under a Ford Foundation Foreign Area Fellowship. He then took a position as an economist at RAND, where he pursued primarily economic development and transportation economics.

In the mid-1960s he became active in the environmental movement as a result of his outdoor interests, and co-authored economic analyses of proposed dams proposed for the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The dams were turned down by the Federal Government in 1968 after a nationwide campaign by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups. In 1970 he was elected Chairman of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, then the Club’s second largest Chapter.

Soon after Richard Nixon created the US Environmental Protection Agency in late 1970, he followed his increasing environmental interest by taking a position as a manager in their new Office of Research and Development in Washington, DC, for multidisciplinary research on implementation of environmental pollution control. In the late 1970s he worked for about 7 years primarily as a physical scientist managing the development of criteria documents assessing pollutants for possible regulation by EPA. After Reagan institutionalized the economic analysis of Federal regulations in 1981, he transferred to the EPA Policy Office, where he was a senior analyst and economic research manager.

In the mid-2000s he realized that climate would become the major environmental issue of the decade, and undertook a voyage of personal discovery to understand the issue, including both its economic and scientific aspects. With the advent of the strongly environmentalist Obama Administration in 2009 he found himself at odds with EPA’s misguided attempts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, which led to considerable media attention and his retirement in early 2010.

He has authored or co-authored over 35 professional publications in his career to date, mostly in economics and energy/climate. Seventeen of these have been published in journals and 8 as part of books.

Alan's Website

Heartland Award website about Alan

Environmentalism Gone Mad

How a Sierra Club Activist and Senior EPA
Analyst Discovered a Radical Green Energy Fantasy

by Alan Carlin

Dr. Alan Carlin is an economist and physical scientist with degrees from Caltech and MIT and publications in both economics and climate/energy, who became actively involved in the Sierra Club in the 1960s as an activist and Chapter Chairman. This led to an almost 39 year career as a manager and senior analyst at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

If the book is ordered from Stairway Press (but not from other sources), readers will also receive a bonus USB stick containing four appendices totaling 325 pages of more technical and historical interest. (USB stick may also contain extra bonus content. Shipped separately.)

In the mid-2000s he began researching the claims by the environmental movement and the UN that the release of carbon dioxide by modern civilization will lead to catastrophic global warming due to human-caused CO2 emissions (which they subsequently changed to climate change and now extreme weather). This is his account of his personal journey of discovery that concluded that the claims are based on invalid science and are being pushed by a far left wing conspiracy that tolerates no skepticism, that their “solution” will result in disastrous price increases and reduced reliability for electricity in the US, as it already has in Western Europe, and reductions in economic growth and living standards around the world, particularly for the less affluent.

In Environmentalism Gone Mad, Dr. Carlin documents the dysfunction of the modern environmental movement—demonstrating the need of a major course correction to steer it back towards reality.

When Dr. Carlin attempted to express his views in response to a request for comments on EPA’s justification for all this in 2009, the Agency imposed a gag order to prevent him from discussing climate change, suppressed his comments, and prohibited him from further work on it, which ultimately led to his retirement.

Senator James Inhofe said at the time:

"He came out with the truth. They don’t want the truth at EPA….We are going to expose it."

If the regulatory “solution” proposed by the Obama Administration to a non-problem (alleged catastrophic increases in global temperatures) that EPA can do little or nothing about is not stopped by Congress or the courts, they plan to start implementing it in the US in the summer of 2015, and are trying to get the rest of the world to cut emissions through a non-treaty “treaty” they are pushing to be signed in December, 2015. The Administration maintains that such a “treaty” does not need to be approved by the Senate, like any other treaty, since they know it would never be approved there.

In the view of a prominent liberal constitutional scholar President Obama’s implementation of the “solution” is akin to “burning the Constitution.” All these sacrifices are supposedly necessary to reduce emissions of a colorless, odorless, trace gas essential for plants and thus for life on Earth, which President Obama deliberately and misleadingly calls “carbon pollution.”

But the reductions he has unilaterally decreed in US emissions of it will have no measurable effects on atmospheric CO2 levels.

Dr. Carlin explains how the environmental movement has gone mad and needs a major course correction to bring it back to reality.

“Dr. Carlin’s analysis provided a rigorous overview of important developments in the scientific literature on climate change—developments which emerged since the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 and a report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) in 2008.”

– 2009 letter to then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson from U.S. Senators James Inhofe and John Barrasso

“Mr. Carlin is instead an explanation for why the science debate is little reported in this country. The professional penalty for offering a contrary view to elites like Al Gore is a smear campaign. The global-warming crowd likes to deride skeptics as the equivalent of the Catholic Church refusing to accept the Copernican theory. The irony is that, today, it is those who dare critique the new religion of human-induced climate change who face the Inquisition.”

Kimberley Strassel, Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2009

“I’m proud to say that Alan used materials from WUWT in his report [to EPA], and that he has been vindicated for standing up to the sloppy rush job. Thank you Mr. Carlin, for having integrity where others did not.”

Anthony Watts, webmaster of, September 30, 2011

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